India and Vietnam have signed seven agreements on cooperation in areas such as defense, petrochemicals and nuclear energy, and have issued a joint vision for peace and prosperity in the wake of concerns between the two countries over China’s aggressive actions in the region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who attended a virtual summit with his Vietnamese envoy Nguyen Juan Foucault, described Vietnam as “an important pillar of India’s law and Eastern policy and a key ally of our Indo-Pacific vision.”
“We see our relationship with Vietnam from a long-term and strategic perspective. Our common goals are peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Our partnership can significantly contribute to maintaining stability and peace in the region,” Modi said.
Nguyen Juan Fuch said the promotion of bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016 would enhance confidence and improve the understanding of the views and interests of others on international issues. He added that the Vietnamese side had agreed to India’s plans for more security credits.
Modi said the seven agreements signed by the two countries cover various issues such as defense, nuclear energy, petrochemicals, renewable energy and cancer treatment. “We are taking new initiatives in our development cooperation and cultural protection. All this shows the expansion and potential of our growing mutual cooperation,” he added.
The meeting took place at a time when both countries are caught up with China’s aggressive actions in the region. India is locked in a military confrontation with China in the Ladakh region of the Line of Control (LoC), while Vietnam has large differences in Chinese claims within its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.
The two leaders released a joint vision document and an action plan for bilateral action for the period 2021-23. “This collective vision of peace, prosperity and people will send a strong message to the world about the depth of our relationship,” Modi said.
India is currently enforcing $ 100 million in security taxes on 12 high-speed patrol boats for Vietnam. Boats built for the Vietnam Border Guard are intended to improve coastal security and prevent illegal activities.
Five ships are being built at Larsen & Toubro’s shipyard in Chennai, while the rest will be built under the supervision of an Indian company at the Hang Ha shipyard in the Vietnamese port city of Hai Phong.
Both countries have stakes and significant maritime interests in the Indo-Pacific region, and the summit helped them see India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean initiative and possible cooperation in ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific perspective.
India and Vietnam will simultaneously serve as permanent members of the UN Security Council from 2021, opening up new opportunities for cooperation and coordination on regional and international issues.